Skip to content

Material Information in Property Listings

Unlocking Informed Choices: Your Guide to Material Information in Property Listings for both Sales and Lettings. Know what to look for when buying or renting a property in Surrey.…


Wills & Smerdon's Festive Word Search Competition

Wills & Smerdon are thrilled to announce a festive foray into the season's traditions with our Christmas Word Search Competition. It's not only a chance to win a delightful M&S hamper but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the comfort and joy that our homes bring during the holiday season.…


The Second Reading of the Renters (Reform) Bill: What Happens Next?

Get ahead of the curve with our latest article that unpacks the imminent Renters (Reform) Bill. From the abolition of Section 21 evictions to new regulations aimed at raising housing standards, find out what these pivotal changes mean for landlords and tenants alike. The Second Reading is on Monday, October 23!…


Elevate Your Surrey Home with a Loft Conversion: Top Tips and Advice

Loft conversions are a popular home improvement project in the UK, allowing homeowners to maximise their available space and potentially add value to their property. However, not all lofts can be converted. There are several factors that homeowners need to consider to determine if their loft is suitable for conversion.…


Gas Safe Week and what it means

The 13th annual Gas Safety Week sees organisations from across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Find out about our input into this important safety week.…


Transforming UK Properties into Greener Homes

According to the UK Green Building Council, 80% of buildings that will be occupied in 2050 already exist today, meaning that retrofitting existing homes is critical. In this article we look at how you can improve the energy-efficiency of your property and what that will mean to the value of your home or rental stock.…


Understanding Property Inspections: What Tenants Should Expect

Routine property inspections are a requirement of your tenancy agreement and are intended to serve the interests of both you and your landlord. If your rental property is managed by Wills and Smerdon, we will organise these visits so that we can confirm to your landlord that the property is kept up-to-date and that any required repairs or issues are swiftly rectified.…


Why do you need to take out tenants insurance?

It is important for tenants to understand that a landlord cannot insure any of the tenants possessions in their rental home, so we urge all tenants to look at the benefits of tenants insurance when renting with us. Find out more…


7 Ways to make your garden wildlife friendly

Creating a wildlife-friendly garden is a wonderful way to support biodiversity and enjoy the beauty of nature. Here are some tips to make your garden more wildlife friendly.…


What will the Renters Reform Bill mean to landlords in Surrey?

The Renters (Reform) Bill has now entered parliament on its way to becoming the law. It will deliver on the government’s commitment to “bring in a better deal for renters”, including abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions and reforming landlord possession grounds. It will legislate for reforms set out in the private rented sector white paper published in June 2022.…


The process of buying a house in England

If you are thinking of taking the plunge and buying a new home soon, we have listed the steps in the buying process and our indication of how long it takes to get the keys to your new home.…


How to improve your property's energy efficiency

In order to assist the government in achieving its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the Climate Change Committee suggests that all UK dwellings achieve an EPC of band C. With a 2030 target for privately rented homes, UK landlords should start planning ahead because, according to Savills analysts, the cost of upgrading an average D-rated property to a C will be £12,746.…


Spring Budget Property Update

The Private Rental Sector will continue to be driven by investment into the economy and levelling-up as set out by Jeremy Hunt in his 2023 Spring Budget yesterday.…


Rental supply crisis continues

According to data compiled for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) by research consultancy BVA-BDRC, 63% of landlords have a buy-to-let mortgage on at least one property.…


Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations for Landlords

We are writing to inform you that there has been an amendment to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations which comes into force on 1 October 2022.  As a result of these regulations, we need to visit our rental properties to ensure that we comply with the amended regulations.…


Material Information on Property Listings

The definition of material information is from the Consumer Protection Regulations 2008 and states the following: “any information which the average consumer needs in order to make an informed transactional decision”…


The art of upcycling: Helping wildlife

It’s no secret that reusing old stuff to make new and useful items is on the up. Upcycling has been sweeping the world from creating useful items in the home, for storage and even for the garden.…


Winter Maintenance for Tenants

Cold crisp morning, seeing your breath, colourful leaves. All things that Autumn/Winter brings with it. It’s also a great time to check for any hidden problems in your home.…


Lettings Update: October 2021

A lot has been going on in the world of lettings, so we wanted to give a lettings update for landlords, who may not be aware of some of the changes to their obligations.…


Energy efficiency in rental properties

Climate change is an issue we’re all hearing a lot about for very good reason. Finding ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions to help slow down the impact on our planet is at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. …


Emergency eviction measures to be relaxed from 1st June

Emergency restrictions put in place by the government to protect tenants during lockdown, now have a roadmap to be lifted in line with the gradual easing of other pandemic restrictions, although we likely won’t be seeing pre-pandemic notice periods returning until October 2021.…


Bring the indoors, outdoors: make the most of your outdoor space

Back on the 22nd February 2021, the Prime Minister announced his roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England. One of the first stages of this, involved being able to meet in groups of up to 6 people outdoors (while still adhering to social distancing guidelines) but crucially, as well as in public spaces this applies to private gardens, too. …


What does the Chancellors budget mean for property investors?

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave his budget spending plan today, for navigating out of the Covid-19 pandemic which has led to increased levels of public spending over the last year. The general approach, is that spending will remain higher than average for the next year, before measures are introduced in order to reduce the level of government spending while still growing the economy.…


Flatfair Deposit Scheme for Landlords

To recap, the Tenant Fee Act, which came into effect on 1st June 2019, limited the deposit a tenant has to pay to the equivalent of five weeks rent and a landlord can no longer ask for any extra rent as a pet deposit. We have therefore been researching schemes which increase the protection offered to you.…


February 2021 Rental Update

As I type this Boris has made his “Road Map” announcement to get us out of lockdown and I am dreaming of getting away this summer and having a haircut sometime this year too – we’ll see! There is much to update you with so my apologies as this is rather long and there is lots to read!…


Evictions ban extended

The ban on evictions in England, has been extended once again to last until at least the 31st March, as part of the government’s set of measures to assist renters during the Covid-19 pandemic.…


Corona Update

With the exponentially increasing numbers of positive Covid tests, the latest announcement of lockdown measures was looking ever more likely. With a large number of sales in conveyance, the lockdown measures have this time allowed for the activities around both sales and lettings to continue, whilst abiding by the most stringent of Covid-Safe protocols.…


How have renting habits changed in 2020?

2020 has seen a lot of change, and the features movers are looking for when moving home is no exception. But how do this year’s Google searches compare to the 2019 from those looking to move?…


Christmas Competition Crossword

Welcome to Wills & Smerdon’s Christmas Crossword Competition. Fill out this crossword and send us the complete version (at the bottom of this page) and have a chance at winning a £25 John Lewis voucher!…


What is the Green Homes grant?

The Green Homes grant is one part of the government’s plans for the UK to become net zero carbon by the year 2050. It’s a £2 billion fund, to support homeowners (including residential landlords) by paying up to 2/3 of the cost of works to improve the energy efficiency of their property.…


Childrens Colouring Competition

Colour us a ‘Magical House’ with all of your favourite things about Christmas. You can colour-in one of our pre-made drawings (below) if you prefer! Enter before mid-day on Wednesday 16th December to be in with a chance of winning a £25 Amazon voucher and having your design featured on the Wills & Smerdon 2021 Christmas Card.…


Contractual periodic tenancies replacing statutory periodic at Wills and Smerdon

After much thought and consideration, we have decided to slightly change our tenancy agreements so that if they continue after the initial fixed term on a periodic basis, they will do so as contractual periodic tenancies, instead of statutory periodic tenancies. These changes will be for new lets starting in November 2020 and do not apply to existing tenancies.…


Pets in rental properties

On 28th January the Government issued its updated Model Tenancy Agreement with consent for pets as the default position.…


How we complete tenant referencing using Goodlord

As an agent, one of the things we do when letting property is conduct referencing and tenant checks to ensure they’re suitable tenants for the property. This is a thorough process in order to protect both landlords and tenants, and as you might imagine takes quite a bit of time if you do it manually. We use Goodlord, to help us free up time spent on admin.…


Changes to EPCs: what you need to know

Since the 20th September 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) are now hosting a combined England & Wales and Northern Ireland EPC register on a .gov website.…


Rent protection for landlords

At Wills & Smerdon we believe in protecting our landlords against all eventualities. This has been exceptionally important during 2020, when the unthinkable happened, and many tenants were simply unable to pay their rent, due to no fault of their own, in other words, COVID-19 happened!…


Landlord possession claims: New update

The latest announcement from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick suggests the eviction ban WILL end at last on September 20. However, more concessions have been made with a commitment from the government not to stage evictions over the Christmas period in England, while in parts of the country undergoing local lockdowns there will be no enforcement of evictions by bailiffs.…


Looking for a home with a garden or access to outdoor space?

Property Portal Rightmove have done some data crunching, and using their own data as well as a recent survey of 4,000 home movers, they’ve discovered that since lockdown there has been a marked shift in the priorities of those looking to move home.…


Wills and Smerdon go digital for landlords and tenants

The Covid 19 crisis has presented many challenges to ensure we work safely and effectively whilst continuing to provide you with outstanding customer service. I am therefore pleased to announce that we have partnered with a company called Goodlord who offer an online system designed to manage the “pre-tenancy“ process in one place. Therefore, once we have found you a new tenant Goodlord will assist us with the administration in the following ways:…


Insurance for property owners amidst the COVID19 pandemic

Dealing with the short term in the first instance that has caused waves in the insurance world: A tiny minority of landlords who had previously chosen to extend their policy or purchased an add-on to cover “Rent Guarantee”, have called upon their policies where the tenant cannot afford to pay their full agreed rental as a result of Covid-19.…


A Covid-19 market update: Are people still looking at properties online?

You would be forgiven for thinking that due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and the general uncertainty caused by such an unprecedented event, the property industry is on its knees. However, encouraging property views data from property portal Rightmove, shows that this is absolutely not the case.…


What will viewings look like now that lockdown restrictions have been eased?

Last night the property industry received the news that estate and letting agency businesses can re-open the doors and resume business today. Over the last few weeks, there has been a huge amount of change in our everyday life. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, laid out his plan on Sunday as to what life might start to look like as the virus is brought under further control and restrictions can begin to ease, and what is clear, is that we all need to be ready to adapt going forward – so we had already started preparing, potentially for re-opening in June, so it was rather a surprise to hear last night’s news!…


Information for landlords in post-COVID England

We would like to update you on what we are doing for our managed landlords, now that the Government has green-lighted the resumption of activities in the estate agency world for England.…


The impact COVID19 lockdown has had on the property market

One month on… Well, this is different. Instead of sitting at my computer and occasionally glancing out of my Horsley office window overlooking the uninspiring side elevation of Lloyds Bank, I am working from home and in the garden, my two pugs are sunning themselves in the beautiful afternoon sunshine. In just a short month we have had to adapt to a new way of life and working and I am totally embracing the paperless office concept, Zoom calls, and daily webinars. And we have all learned a new word “furloughed” which we use and hear on a daily basis.…


5 Heating Options for Old Houses

Have you considered the heating system in your refurbishment project? To be honest, it’s not the first thing that people imagine when they’re designing their dream home. However, there’s a lot that goes into a heating system, and getting the right one really can make a house a home. This is particularly poignant when heating an old house, where the cold can easily creep in and make for uncomfortable habitation.…


Rental Property Update on Coronavirus Act 2020

What is classed as an “essential move”? This is a move which NEEDS to happen for an urgent reason, such as a huge water leak that has flooded the property, the home occupier is a key worker and needs to be close to their place of work, domestic violence, gas leak or other property emergency that could endanger life and where the property is unfit for human habitation.…


Decorating after moving: where to start

Despite social distancing measures putting a stop to all moves which aren’t deemed essential (see our recent blog post on this), maybe you’ve recently moved into a home which requires a lot of decorating and being confined to the four walls has given you the drive to get stuck in. But when you’re faced with a lot of decorating, knowing where to start can be tough!…


Tenants and the Coronavirus Pandemic

Following the advice from the Government concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, as we make plans to temporarily close our office (the first time since the office opened in 1933) and work from home, we want to bring you as much information as we can regarding the situation with your tenancy.…


Landlords and the Coronavirus Pandemic

Landlords: following the advice from the Government concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, we have made plans to temporarily close our office (for the first time since 1933) and work from home. As this is uncharted territory, changes may have to be made as the situation unfolds over the next few days/weeks and this blog will outline our stance and be amended as changes happen.…


Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate to sell my home?

The short answer is yes, you do need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to sell your property, in fact you can find yourself facing a fine if you don't have a certificate when you need one. EPC's are required whenever a house is built, sold, or rented. But here's some more information about what they are and what they contain.…


World Sleep Day 2020: How to choose a new mattress

Today is World Sleep Day 2020. Did you know, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night? The mattress industry generally recommends that mattresses be replaced every 7-10 years, as the aches and pains caused by old or unsupported mattresses can contribute to a reduction in the hours of sleep you get.…


How to reduce your stress levels when selling your home

There's lots of stress involved in the process of selling your property, but you can makes sure it doesn't take over! With this in mind, we’ve put together a few thoughts on ways you can reduce your stress levels when selling your home.…


Demand from prospective tenants at an all-time high

Data from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) shows that demand for rental properties increased to the highest level ever in January, with 88 prospective tenants registered per lettings agency branch compared to just 56 in December 2019. This amounts to a 57% increase in the number of prospective tenants registered! …


Top tips for renovating your home

Whether you're looking to make the space in your current home work for you, or are looking to purchase a project to make your own - renovating can be an excellent answer to making the most of your property. It's also not for the faint-hearted, so we've put together some tips to help you ensure that your project runs as smoothly as possible to get you you dream home.…


Clever ideas for toy storage

When you are selling your home with children in situ it is difficult to keep the place tidy, so we have some great storage ideas for all of those toys you gathered at Christmas!…


Selling your home: first impressions count

In her programme Selling Houses with Amanda Lamb, Amanda Lamb presented the interesting statistic that 41% of buyers have already made up their mind about a property before they've even left the hallway.…


Good news for renters with pets

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick is to end the blanket ban of pets as part of the government’s mission to improve the lives of tenants …


Wills & Smerdon: A year in review

Everyone's back to work and we're speeding into the roaring 20s, so we thought it would be fun to look back over Wills & Smerdon's 2019.…


How to feed garden birds in winter

As the weather gets colder, it gets harder and harder for our feathered friends to find food. With that in mind, now is a good time to start feeding them and topping up their food regularly, so they will know they can rely on the food supply in your garden throughout the leaner months.…


Christmas Competition Time at Wills And Smerdon

This year we have a little Christmas brain-teaser in the form of a Wills & Smerdon Crossword for you to complete in order to be in the hat to win a brand new NESPRESSO MACHINE!…


Top tips for making your home feel cosy

There’s nothing quite like getting home from work, closing the curtains to banish the cold and dark, and relaxing in a cosy environment. With that in mind, we’ve put together this little list of things you can do to help maximise your environment with winter vibes.…


Autumn maintenance tips to get your home winter-ready

The leaves are turning colour, the mornings and evenings now require a jumper, and pumpkins are on sale at the shops – now is the perfect time to carry out a few jobs to prepare your home for the colder months.…


Love your local parkrun

If you've not heard of parkrun, it's an absolutely fantastic way of getting outdoors and getting active! Parkrun organise 5K events across the globe every Saturday at 9:00am, which are run by volunteers and which are completely free. …


A rise in renters aged 45+

The fastest growing demographic in the tenant market is the 45 and overs, according to recent statistics highlighted by flat sharing site SpareRoom.…


Is Woodworm a Problem and How to Spot the Signs?

Woodworm can cause serious damage to your property by eating away at the timber and wooden furniture you may have. Depending on the species of woodworm the lifecycle will last from between two to five years. One of the main issues with woodworm is that they are usually only seen towards the end of their lifecycle when the damage has already been done. Check our information leaflet and catch the blighters before it's too late!…


Top Tips for Putting your Home on the Market

When you put your property on the market, potential buyers looking around on viewings desperately want to imagine themselves living in your property. By making an effort to show your home at its best, you’ll be helping them to imagine the space working for them. Here are some of our top tips on getting your property market ready, and showing off its best assets!…


RISING DAMP - WHAT IS IT AND HOW TO IDENTIFY IT

Although rising damp can potentially occur in any building, it is particularly common in older buildings. This is mostly down to a previous damp proofing course that has failed or where the ground level around a building has risen. Rising Damp if left untreated will not just damage wall plaster but could also lead to timber decay in the form of dry or wet rot. Dry rot is arguably the worst possible property problem that can occur so it’s really important any signs of rising damp are not ignored. …


HOW TO PREVENT CONDENSATION IN THE HOME

Treating condensation is one of the biggest issues in a rental property. There is always that 'who's at fault' issue and, from experience, it is a 50/50 situation. Older properties are prone to condensation because they have often had double glazing fitted, which was not the design when the building was erected. Landlords need to provide vents, extraction bricks or fans, and tenants need to dry their washing at the launderette or outside! Read on...…


Epsom Derby Competition Time

The 2019 Epsom Derby will be the 240th annual running of the Derby horse race and will take place at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Saturday 1 June 2019 and in it's honour we are running a little competition for you.…


Tenant Fee Ban Is Coming 1st June

The Tenant Fee Ban becomes law on 1st June 2019 so these are the costs associated with taking a tenancy via Wills & Smerdon from that day forward.…


Hedgehog News

Once a really common sight in UK countryside, the lovable critters which have inspired favourite characters such as Beatrix Potter’s Mrs Tiggywinkle, are in serious decline with the hedgehog population thought to have fallen from 30 million to less than 1 million since the 1950s. What can be done to help? Read on...…


Turn Japanese Knotweed into a delicious dessert

Japanese knotweed has the potential to cause disastrous consequences to the structural integrity of a property if left untreated. However, this invasive weed is actually edible and can be used to compliment a variety of delicious and nutritious recipes. Have a read...…


Why do basements flood and how to prevent it

On average the United Kingdom receives 885mm of rainfall per year. Unfortunately, this level of rainfall also means that many properties across the U.K are at a higher risk of flooding following these periods of rainfall. Therefore, it can save you potentially thousands of pounds to not leave water damage to chance and to know why basements flood and how to prevent it from occurring.…


How to help bees in your urban garden

If you don’t have any grass or traditional borders but you do have an outside space, no matter how small, then planting up a few pots with bright flowers not only provides bees with food, it provides you with a treat for your eyes!…


How to save money on your home renovation

It's incredibly exciting to carry out a property refurbishment, but whether your budget is big or small, the costs can quickly get out of control, so we’ve put together a tick list to help keep you on track and on budget.…


How to spot Japanese Knotweed in Spring 2019

As Japanese Knotweed is quite an attractive looking plant, it tends to blend into the environment and quite often can go undetected. However, this mishap could have massive ramifications as the invasive plant has the potential to seriously impact the structural integrity of a building.…


Parking & Pets are just what the tenant ordered

New research from property portal 'Zoopla' shows that parking sits firmly at the top of requirements for tenants - but pet-friendly facilities are a growing expectation. At Wills & Smerdon we want to support Landlords hoping to profit from this growing trend!…


Navigating the Red Tape of the Private Rental Sector

The private rental sector has been hit recently with one piece of legislation after another, and now there are over 150 laws which must be adhered to in order not to face prosecution, fines or even jail sentences.  Read about it here: …


The pitfalls of an empty home

Empty homes are on the increase in the UK and we can offer a number of solutions to anybody wondering what to do with a property that is sitting unoccupied.…


Wills & Smerdon Vacant Property Minding Service

If you are going away or your property is going to be vacant for a period of time, trust Wills & Smerdon to take care of it for you. Check our Property Minding Service, read on for more details.…